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Thread: What I figured out last Christmas...

  1. #126
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    Well I have read almost all the way through this thread and have to add my part. One year for Mother's Day I made my mother and MIL both quillows to fit each bed, one king and the other full. I machine emb. LARGE roses in their favorite colors on the pockets. I still have my mothers after her passing, and when my MIL passed, ask MBIL who was taking care of things if he knew where hers might be, his wife sewed and quilted so he knew the value of quilting. He had no idea. Our daughter is currently living the MIL's house in another town We were visiting and DD's dog was a puppy at the time and had been in one of the storage buildings dragging things out to chew on and play with. Well guess what one of the things happened to be - the pocket section of the quillow I had made several years before. The pocket had been CUT off and crudely I might add, where the rest of the quillow was who knows. When I found this part I took it in the house and ask my daughter about it, (she appreciates quilts) and she had no idea. My DH knew I had been checking on this quillow, and saw what it was. I don't know who was the angriest, of the three of us. For a more positive note, I had a dear widower friend who had once been a close neighbor. Bill was a wood carver and made things by hand. He was very ill with cancer. I don't know what possessed me but I knew I just had to make Bill a quilt. I got busy and worked steady to make a log cabin in less than two weeks. When I took the quilt to him, his son was there and commented and ask if this was a log cabin. I was impressed. Bill passed away 5 days later. His DIL told me he loved that quilt, and had used it every day since I gave it to him. The morning he passed he was cold and was wrapped up in the quilt. She had washed it afterwards and wanted to know if I wanted it back, if not they would like to keep it. I was so pleased to know that my work and love I had put into the quilt was really appreciated by the recipient and his family.
    There will always be those who really appreciate hand made gifts and know the time and love put into them, then there will be others who could care less.

  2. #127
    Senior Member puck116's Avatar
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    I've already posted, but on another note, I made a nap size quilt for our neighbor in Florida, we are snow birds, who was staying in FL for the summer to receive cancer treatment. His wife cried when we gave it to Bill. Bill and my DH talk often and Bill has said that he uses it every day when he takes a nap.

  3. #128
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    Heather that was a smart move you did. I made a quilt for a friend. I did a lot of work which included hand applique. I got a lot of compliments from other people. Vic (my husband) and I drove 4 hours across the state to give it to her and just before we left I gave her the package. She wasn't even going to open it!!!!! I said, " aren't you going to take it out of the bag??" She said "I know it is my quilt." !!!! Can you believe it!!! Finally she opened it up and was very nonplus!! I cried on the way home. Now it is a story that I tell but I will NEVER do it again!!

    You were smart!

  4. #129
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    So true!!Thanks for sharing the "up" side of this thing!!

  5. #130
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    HeatherQuilts, don't apologize for telling the truth. The people who "get to me" are the ones who act like I handmade something for them so I could SAVE MONEY by not BUYING a gift. People who don't buy fabric, or haven't bought any in this decade, have no idea what it costs.

  6. #131
    Senior Member cattailsquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinNsmilin
    I live in Florida and most of my family is RI and MA. It's sad that there are a lot of people who don't appreciate the love, the thought, the time and the money it costs to make such a unique
    gift. I always think of my lap quilts as long-distance hugs. Several years ago my SIL's mother was quite ill. I made her a lap quilt.
    The 24 squares had all different machine embroidered 4 inch butterflies and the quilt was latticed, bordered & backed with a gorgeous butterfly fabric. Georgie, the Mom absolutely loved. My
    SIL called me after Georgie died to say she put the quilt in the coffin with her Mom. I have to say that totally freaked me out. Perhaps I should have seen it as a supreme compliment, but I thought it was weird. Why not keep it as a nice memory? Am I nuts?
    No, you're not nuts. The first quilt I ever made was a Christmas gift for my grandma. She loved the heck out of it, and it was always on her couch or recliner. When her heath declined, it and the pillow I cross-stitched for her always went with her to the hospital or respite home. When she passed last October, my 16 y/o cousin wanted them buried with her, because she treasured them so much. I thought long & hard about it, but couldn't part with them, so now they are back with me, and my cousin can come visit them.

  7. #132
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brwnntwn
    a quilt in her favorite colors with her favorite things - cats.
    I recognize those blocks from 501 Quilt Blocks! I have always thought a cat quilt using those would be cool, and I really like yours.

  8. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev
    Quote Originally Posted by brwnntwn
    My older sister taought me to sew. She is an amazing seamstress - but does not "get" quilting. (unless the quilt is made from scraps or old clothes) ANYWAY, I decided to make her a quilt in her favorite colors with her favorite things - cats. It took me almost a year to finish this quilt with all of the piecing involved in the squares. Come Christmas Morning her comment was "it's about time some one made something for me". I know whe has looked at it because she commented on a flaw on one of the squares - but she keeps it in a box in her closet because it is "too nice to put out." sigh. I was amazed at this response from the person who taught me to sew and craft! My sister in law - who drives me crazy - has been begging me for a quilt - but she understands what goes into it. One of these days she will get it too!
    What a wonderful quilt!!! I love it!
    She sounds like she has a hard time expressing her feelings about gifts. She just HAS to love this quilt. And lots of people put these gifts away because they think they're too precious to take a chance on having them out where they can get damaged. Do you think maybe this was the problem with her?

    8-)
    I am SURE that you are right! I do wish she would use it though so all the love and hugs I put into every stitch would hold her everytime! She pretty much raised me as our mother worked (back in the day when widows did not get jobs they got new husbands) I have told her that - and she says she might after her cats have passed on as she does not want them to, well --- they are old cats. Thank you so much for your amazing insite!

  9. #134
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    i,too learned the hard way! my late dh & i had only been married 2-3 yrs when i decided to make all handmade gifts for xmas.i made full-length robes w/emb.on sleees,down the front ,neck& hemline, for mil,sils.made shirts for fil,bil,etc.when my in-laws opened their gifts,they didn't even take garments out to look at them !!they unfolded the tissue,said "oh ' & pushed them aside. needless to say,i never made them another gift .i'd spent MOS.on these gifts,was SO hurt!. dh tried,he kept saying"dar MADE all those" you live & learn

  10. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by brwnntwn
    My older sister taought me to sew. She is an amazing seamstress - but does not "get" quilting. (unless the quilt is made from scraps or old clothes) ANYWAY, I decided to make her a quilt in her favorite colors with her favorite things - cats. It took me almost a year to finish this quilt with all of the piecing involved in the squares. Come Christmas Morning her comment was "it's about time some one made something for me". I know whe has looked at it because she commented on a flaw on one of the squares - but she keeps it in a box in her closet because it is "too nice to put out." sigh. I was amazed at this response from the person who taught me to sew and craft! My sister in law - who drives me crazy - has been begging me for a quilt - but she understands what goes into it. One of these days she will get it too!
    i love your kitty quilt and my son would love it too i want to make him one that has as he says "kittehs" on it but they are always so girly he would love this nice job

  11. #136
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    I know how you feel. I believe people that aren't crafty have no idea. They think we play (like we're making mud pies) they're right...but it's STILL taking talent and money to do it! Years ago I was into stained glass. I gave my mother a panel. It took me nights and weekends to get it done. She held it up and said "um hum" and looked at her husband and said "what do you think". He said "yeah"....and they set it aside and never said a word to me!!! It took them 6 yrs to hang it. My kids have gotten SG panels and I've seen them broken or, in one case, saw it hanging in the garage -- and then after the next move, it disappeared. I NEVER made another glass piece for anyone else again.
    As for my quilts --- I'm giving them to grandkids when they move out on their own, I'll never look back, and I don't expect thank - you cards, because I'll never get them....no sense sweating it! I'll sell the rest! Or enjoy them myself!

  12. #137
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    When my MIL was alive, and I would make her something, I would never see it, after it was gifted. We are talking about 27 yrs ago. I made my husbands Aunt a basket with lace and beads, and she still has that basket, and now uses it for wash cloths in her camper. I was so amazed that she still had it, and was still using it, after all these years. I will if I have time, make her a quilt someday. God bless.

  13. #138
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    This has been a most interesting thread. It helps to heal wounds in the heart to be able to talk about it with others who understand. I have been trying to grasp the larger picture of what this might be teaching us. I will speak in first person because it applies to me.

    When I give a large expensive gift, do I set up the feeling in the recipient that they somehow owe me for something so great - a debt they can never repay?

    Have I set up a situation in a family where everyone has to fulfill my expectations for this gift for the rest of my life in order to make me happy?

    Have I given them something that imposes my decorating colors and style on a younger person who would rather not have an older relative decide the decor of their room? (Especially a DIL)

    Did I stop and consider that another generation might feel entirely different about "homemade" and not even stop to realize it? Depression prints can mean different things to different generations.

    Most importantly, have I set up a situation where I expect someone to build my self-esteem and hope to receive love and appreciation and worst of all, guilt?

    With so much time, energy, heart and money invested in our projects, I feel that answering these questions for myself is important. Been there, got the tattered t-shirts. I really appreciate reading all of your experiences, and my heart aches for all the pain. I think it simply boils down to the fact that the joy has to be in the creation. We have a wonderful opportunity for feedback from each other - those who REALLY can appreciate the effort and art. Anything we receive from the recipient is just gravy. Maybe it is part of learning how to love unconditionally.

    Now to get back to my three kittens who have just managed to pull everything down from my design board.

  14. #139
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    Virginia Smith - I think you have some good points there.

    I know when I make handmade gifts, I do it in part for the praise I get. I like to "show off". I really hate it when the recipient doesn't open the gift in front of me.

    And I did realize at some point when I was younger that some of my handmade gifts did not take into account the taste of the recipient. They were more about what I wanted to make, not what they wanted to receive. Now I am much more careful to think about what colors/style a person likes for their clothing and environment before I give them something and expect that they will love and appreciate it.

    I do hate it when I read stories about someone presenting a gift quilt to a loved one, and the person says, "Oh, I don't like this, but I would love a quilt that's X Y Z..." That to me is unpardonable manners.

  15. #140
    Super Member CraftsByRobin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinNsmilin
    I live in Florida and most of my family is RI and MA. It's sad that there are a lot of people who don't appreciate the love, the thought, the time and the money it costs to make such a unique
    gift. I always think of my lap quilts as long-distance hugs. Several years ago my SIL's mother was quite ill. I made her a lap quilt.
    The 24 squares had all different machine embroidered 4 inch butterflies and the quilt was latticed, bordered & backed with a gorgeous butterfly fabric. Georgie, the Mom absolutely loved. My
    SIL called me after Georgie died to say she put the quilt in the coffin with her Mom. I have to say that totally freaked me out. Perhaps I should have seen it as a supreme compliment, but I thought it was weird. Why not keep it as a nice memory? Am I nuts?
    Maybe the mother requested it be buried with her? I see both sides on this one ... not much help am I?

  16. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewalot
    I have a little different spin on your story with one that happened to me. I had a total stranger see a quilt that I made and went crazy over the quilt. She just had to have it.She contacted me several times and made a point fo how poor she was. She could never afford such a beautiful piece of art work. she actually cried tears. SO.....I sold her the quilt at a rediculous price to find out that she turned around and sold it for a fortune!!! Never again will that happen!!!!I don't care how many tears they cry!!! Susie Sew-a-lot
    This made my jaw drop ... this has left me speechless ...

  17. #142
    Super Member CraftsByRobin's Avatar
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    I consider handmade gifts like money ... once I give it ... I don't know what's done with it and I don't expect it back ... my fun was making it ... and it done my heart good with it ...

    I used to stress and wonder if folks used what I made ... then I realized ... some folks are so fortunate and have so much stuff that they may not see the 'value' of a quilt like those who make them do ...

    To each his own ... cheer up ... if you want someone who will appreciate your quilts ... I'm your woman :D :D

  18. #143
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    I posted before but I wanted to add that I think it is a good idea to realize that when we make something for someone, we need to let it go and let them treat/mistreat it however they chose, and we can't tell them how to use it or take care of it, or anything, because it belongs to them now and it isn't ours anymore. For me, I felt so bad at the reactions I got when I gave my baby quilts away, but now I know that everyone can't react as I think they should, they are who they are, and that is their problem not mine. I just know that if I chose to give something away that I made ( and I still do) I can't be expecting them to react how I want them to. That's how I feel anyway.

  19. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alondra
    You are so right! This needed to be said. No offense intended, but there are just some folks who don't appreciate the effort and love that go into making a homemade gift, especially a quilt. They should go out to Anna's and buy themselves a quilt from China.
    I bought a quilt on ebay before I started quilting. The lady who sold it to me said it was American hand quilted, but I thougt it looked like made in China. I asked a friend who used to own a quilt store. She looked at the stiches and said "little children have made that" I don't recommend anyone buy a cheap quilt. it may have been made by little children.

  20. #145

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    heather,
    I think that's a briliant idea. My guess we've all be disappointed at times, because people just didn't realize all the work and love we put into making something for them that was, in our opinion, perfect for them.
    peel

  21. #146
    Senior Member Aully's Avatar
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    I really am new to quilting, but now that I have started I wanted to make my mom a quilt and oh my gosh the things she said to me about quilting hurt me so bad that I will never ever make her a quilt I cryed for a long time. My parents are divorced and have been since I was 6 years old. I will make my dad a quilt as he loves things with meaning and sentimental value.

  22. #147
    Senior Member HeatherQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysgal
    I posted before but I wanted to add that I think it is a good idea to realize that when we make something for someone, we need to let it go and let them treat/mistreat it however they chose, and we can't tell them how to use it or take care of it, or anything, because it belongs to them now and it isn't ours anymore. For me, I felt so bad at the reactions I got when I gave my baby quilts away, but now I know that everyone can't react as I think they should, they are who they are, and that is their problem not mine. I just know that if I chose to give something away that I made ( and I still do) I can't be expecting them to react how I want them to. That's how I feel anyway.
    I totally agree. I made the fleece blankets, and was happy to give them as gifts, even if the recipient didn't have the reaction I wanted them to have. I am, however, glad that I did not pour my time, heart, blood sweat and tears into something that would not be appreciated. If those fleece blankets get used, great! If not, that's fine too! If they become dog or cat beds, at least they are keeping someone warm! I am glad that I made all the blankets and gave them as gifts. I took enjoyment from making them. But it also taught me a valuable lesson about how some people "get" quilts and some just don't. I figure I just saved myself some heartache. Not to mention money and time. It won't stop me from quilting, but I know who I want to make big quilts for, and who I would make smaller projects for. :D
    That, and I would love to be able to just "let it go" but I know that it would really bother me.... so that's my reality! :lol: :lol:

    Thanks so much everyone for all of your responses!

  23. #148
    Senior Member Maybe1day's Avatar
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    Well I am in the - love making the quilts camp, give them away and let them go.

    I am hurt at times when these lovingly made quilts are not used or treated how I feel they should be but I continually tell myself that we are each individuals and I shouldn't judge. Likewise, once bitten twice shy and I would not put the same effort into anything else I was to make for them, though as I love making these things so much I probably would still make them something else when the urge hit me.

    Guess I am just a glutton for punishment :-)

    Maybe1day

  24. #149
    Super Member Lucy90's Avatar
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    I have given quilts to a few close family members and they really appreciated them. Would I just make one for a friend-NO!! I have heard from other quilters these same stories and they make quilts but keep them all!! It is sad in a way as there is so much love in a quilt!!

  25. #150
    Dee
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    Been there -done that. You said it all and its a very smart way to look at it. You feel so hurt when you take time to make a gift homemade for someone and its -oh ya - thanks.

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